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submitted by Adam Swett

Last fall, winter and this spring/early summer I got out on the French Broad River on section 9 often mostly with the Antix 2.0 in the small. I am too big for it but I can fit and it paddles so sweet that unless the Big Laurel or Wilson was running this was where I paddled. Heading to FB9 with a big Facebook group, solo or with a couple of friends became routine and a truck load of fun. I’ll also mention the taco’s in Hot Springs are amazing and so is this section of river. I honestly feel it is under rated! and by the smiles I see on the river I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Just down stream from the bridge are a couple of eddy lines that can really entertain bow and stern squirts and stalls. The more time spent here warming up the better because down stream are some great rock splats/spins/grinds/boofs. There’s a couple that are attainable to splat over and over to your hearts content. It is crazy fun!

So far I’ve been able to paddle this section from 1500 to 11,000 cfs with the best levels being 2500 cfs and up. There’s one wave at 5800 and 5000 cfs at sandy bottoms that has an eddy to rest while you get ready for more spins and blunts. At any level there are really nice seams and Eddie lines for stern squirts and spins. Here is the gauge I use but use caution as river flows can change quickly without notice!

One of the best aspects of this section of river is the combined scenery, wildlife, whitewater and accessibility although parking at the takeout in the summer can be challenging. I like how all the rafters converge on this river along with many groups of kayak instructional groups, swift water safety classes and private paddlers. This river is one I’m really looking forward to getting to know better and better and enjoying for forever. It really looks like everyone I see is doing the same.